Thursday, October 17, 2013
So I "ran a few numbers" today, while watching the verbal pie-fight at NWN about the Linden Lab terms of service and how it might be influencing content creators. It would seem to me that a better test of Linden Lab's success or failure would be how many new content-creators are coming into the platform. A few high-level departures now won't do much, in terms of establishing a trend.
There is a clear trend to ponder in SL. I pulled these figures from Grid Survey's rankings of private estates in-world:
Date/ Number of private estates / Change from previous entry
10-18-10 / 24791
10-31-11 / 24432 / -359 regions
10-14-12 / 21504 / -2928 regions
10-13-13 / 19582 / -1922 regions
I suppose there's comfort in the smaller decline from 2012 to 2013. What does the overall trend portend? At some point, there will come a tipping point. What the Lindens do when their world is no longer profitable enough to satisfy their Board remains as mysterious as anything else that comes from their offices.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
The new Linden Terms of Service raised many hackles at today's VWER meeting, which I agreed to host as Kali was away.
Note the clauses here:
"you agree to grant to Linden Lab, the non-exclusive, unrestricted, unconditional, unlimited, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, and cost-free right and license to use, copy, record, distribute, reproduce, disclose, sell, re-sell, sublicense (through multiple levels), modify, display, publicly perform, transmit, publish, broadcast, translate, make derivative works of, and otherwise exploit in any manner whatsoever, all or any portion of your User Content"I'm glad I'm done teaching with Second Life. Never again. And the Lindens must have good lawyers. Vassar still has content there; the new TOS means that Lindens could use Vassar's logo or re-sell it, if one applies the TOS literally.
Yet another reason to set up one's own grid and distribute the work under a Creative-Commons license.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
On August 15, I guest moderated the VWER meeting and decided it was time to chat about the new tier discount in SL, to see what others think or are doing.
The complete transcript of our meeting can be found here. Meanwhile, it's safe to say that a few "wants" emerged from our meeting, even as Linden Lab reinstates its discount:
- An educational continent: this was on the Linden radar in 2010, before the company suddenly fired its staff who supported education. We'd get a lot of synergy from proximity, and we'd also be able to rent parcels smaller than an entire sim, in a setting with others like us.
- Linden staff tasked to support education: As in "full-time and on-call." The software vendors I deal with, as I pay them far less annually than what we'd pay in discounted Linden tier, have these helpers by the phone during US business hours. Many at the VWER meeting felt that Linden Lab could afford concierge service for education, too.
- An educational portal online: It's just an embarrassment to show educators and administrators the socially focused SL Web site, let alone the racy content of Marketplace. We need something that looks like education, not reality TV.
- Fixing permissions for group builds: We need a new level of permissions so that student builders (who graduate) can not only transfer content to a team but cede "Creator" setting so the content can be exported, backed up, and linked for builds. While we are at it, how about some off-world backups of the IP we create?
Though I personally think it's too late to bring education back to SL, or even reversing the continuing loss of land-mass in the once popular virtual world, if the Lindens are serious about it, these steps would help. There are other choices out there beyond OpenSim; Educators now can export virtual-worlds content to worlds employing Unity 3D content.